The Null Device


There is now debate in Australia about banning militant jihadist literature. Am I the only person who finds it odd that a country which bans computer games unsuitable for children, "immoral" literature (such as 18th-century erotic novel Fanny Hill) and controversial art-house films such as Baise-Moi is agonising so much over whether banning incendiary literature calling for holy war would be too illiberal?

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According to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, Tokyo is still the world's most expensive city; in second place is Oslo; Reykjavík is at #4, London is down from #6 to #8, and New York has slipped to #35 (behind Wellington, New Zealand). The cheapest city surveyed was Tehran.

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And the Drama Queen Of The Day award goes to: Omar Bakri Mohammed, the militant Jihadist cleric who has been outspokenly advocating terrorism and playing chicken with incitement laws for a decade or so (see also Jon Ronson's Them). Ever the centre of attention, Bakri publicly announced, some time after the recent spate of suicide bombings in London, that he would not tell the police if he knew of terrorist attacks being planned. When the government announced it was looking at deporting hardliners or charging them with treason, Bakri stormed off in a huff to the Middle East, muttering darkly that the British people would hear from him. Now he says that he just left for a holiday and would be back... unless the government didn't want him.

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